Lost in the mist and/or smoke.

It appears that I scream louder when I’ve stepped in cat vomit than when I get separated from Yann on a hiking trail. Before I go into further detail on this, let’s play a game.

Fog or Wildfire Smoke?

A.

B.

C.

D.

Answers below:

ǝɹᴉɟplᴉM ˙p
ƃoℲ ˙Ɔ
ƃoℲ ˙q
ƃoℲ ˙∀

The last photo was taken on September 12th when many wildfires were burning in Washington State. I think several are still going on, but I’ve stopped reading so much news; it was making me mentally unwell.

Yann and I went to Sombrio Beach last week and hiked a short portion of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. To hike the full trail, you need to time your departure and arrival at each overnight stop as parts of the trail get cut off at high tide. Yann and I arrived just after high tide; however, we didn’t realize the trail had gotten cut off as we were able to find what looked like two paths, which we now believe were created by hikers who failed to stick to the tide schedule. The path Yann took had him pull himself up by thick tree roots. I attempted to take the less steep, but muddier switchback. When this route proved to be too slippery, I swapped to Yann’s route. Once I’d scrambled to the top, Yann was gone.

It was Mount Albert Edward all over again.

“Yann!” I screamed. After a minute, I realized that I’d probably best stick to emitting vowels loudly. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA… EEEEE! I, O, U, AND SOMETIMES Y! FOR YANN!”

Seconds later, Yann frantically stumbled out of the bushes. He had gone around to the other side to meet me, not realizing that I had aborted the route.

We were able to find our way back to the beach using a third makeshift path that was slightly less sketchy than the two I’d already tried.

So, I own a whistle for real now. It seemed more convenient than carrying a Ziploc bag filled with cat vomit to step in should my vocal cords require extra motivation.

I mailed that letter to Dad last Friday. It took me thirteen pages to say what needed to be said. I’ve lit the fuse, so if I see smoke coming from the mainland, I’ll assume that Dad’s blown his lid. I wasn’t in a rush to mail this letter until I started receiving emails from my grandparents, who are in their nineties, telling me that Dad’s been having trouble getting in touch with me. I didn’t have the heart to admit to them that I had blocked his phone number and that I think he’s an insufferable human being whose presence is unwelcome in my life. I don’t want my nonagenarian grandparents acting as mediators; I know they think Dad is a decent person who cares about me, and I am okay with them believing this.

Sometimes it’s the small things that make your day. Last night, I found a double-spun cotton swab. I do use Q-Tips brand cotton swabs, which claim to have the most soft cotton at the tip than any other swab.

I go through so many Q-Tips that it’s the first thing that comes to an old roommate’s mind when she sees my name. (See what she gifted me for my birthday in 2005.) Anyone who’s ever lived with me has seen the bathroom wastebasket quickly fill up with black-tipped cotton swabs. (I use them to remove mascara because they’re cheaper, cleaner, and more precise than cotton pads.)

I’ve easily gone through thousands of Q-Tips in my lifetime, yet I’d never seen a double-spun cotton swab. Until now! AND I AM JAZZED.

Two cotton swabs lay on a pine board. The cotton swab on the right appears to have been spun twice, making for much bigger, fluffy tips than usual.

As tightly-wound as I am, I can also be surprisingly easy to please. If you’ve been blessed with a double-spun cotton swab before: shush. Don’t ruin this for me.

On the subject of ruined things, my hair has found the Holy Grail of conditioners:

A pink bottle of conditioner with a label that reads: Eva NYC

Soften Up Conditioner

With Keravis Protein and Argan Oil. Gently moisturizes, detangles, and repairs. For all hair types.

My pastel pink, purple and blue mane is a cross between My Little Pony’s Baby Moondancer and Baby Glory’s mane in colour and texture. Pretty, but feels like a cheap wig, as I persist with the bleach jobs despite the damage it does to my hair. I keep stripping away my natural hair colour as it seems unnatural after twenty-five years of shuffling through the colour spectrum.

This conditioner, however, has made my hair soft enough to be let loose of its usual side braid. The tradeoff is that it makes the bathtub dangerously slippery. I’m like Bambi on ice in the shower, knees knocking as I struggle to stay upright while conditioning my hair.

So, I now condition my hair while sitting in the tub. After all, if I were to fall in the shower, I’d be too slippery for the paramedics to handle. So, there you have it, my apprehensive recommendation of Eva NYC’s Soften Up Conditioner!

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